Yakima Health District officials say they're working with the Office of Emergency Management, the Washington State Department of Health and local stakeholders to prepare for the arrival and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a news release from the district estimates from the federal government, Washington’s initial vaccine allocation will consist of 62,000 doses. The release says the county is one of the 13 counties that will receive the first round of vaccines within the next few weeks. The Yakima Health District will not distribute or store the Pfizer vaccines. District officials say vaccines will only be distributed via state approved vaccine distributors.

The health district will be working with hospitals and community health centers to get them approved and ready for vaccine distribution.  Yakima County’s plan for distribution will follow the Washington State Department of Health’s guidance for a multi-phased approach. During the first phase of vaccination, called phase 1A,vaccination will be limited to health care workers who work directly with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, along with residents and staff of long-term care facilities. As more vaccines become widely available, the Department of Health will issue further guidance on when vaccines can be provided to other critical groups.